Welcome to PAP/RAC Mediterranean Coastal Alert! This newsletter is regularly updated monthly. It contains abstracts of selected current articles and archives on various environmental themes, in particular those dealing with all aspects of coastal issues. The selection is made from the articles published in the leading international scientific journals. This newsletter is an excellent way of keeping you updated with coastal studies and processes.
Managed realignment strategies, based on working with physical processes and dynamic environments, are gaining weight in sustainable coastal erosion management. However, this kind of innovative adaptive strategy can give rise to major social conflicts. A proposal to implement managed realignment in the Ebro Delta in Spain is provoking intense social conflict between different socioeconomic sectors. This qualitative study, based on semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, analyses social perceptions of three management strategies aimed at coping with coastal erosion in the Ebro Delta in order to throw some light on the main barriers to a managed realignment strategy. The results reveal the complexities of the local conflict and highlights issues such as mistrust of public authorities and limited understanding of managed realignment. A lengthy hold-the-line tradition in coastal policies in Spain and local idiosyncrasies contextualize a problem that was initially perceived as one of the typical conflicts of interest between conservationists and the primary economic sector. Efforts to provide transparent information, improve participation and build trust are suggested in order to be able to implement managed realignment strategies with the co-operation of the local community.
Source: E. Roca and M. Villares (2012); “Public perceptions of managed realignment strategies: The case study of the Ebro Delta in the Mediterranean Basin”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 60, May 2012, Pages 1 – 10; Available online: 25 January 2012, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.01.002.
Everyone shares the human condition, but we play it out in different ways. As scientists, we play a role when we work, speak and write as scientists. A recently completed EU-funded multi-disciplinary project on integrating science and policy in the context of coastal management (SPICOSA) illustrates how divorcing this role of scientist from the underlying context of a human being with values and opinions gives rise to the illusion that science can remain detached from the human messiness of the social–environmental policy context. An ongoing social–environmental conflict in Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, illustrates different perspectives on marine conservation held by different roles (policy makers and local community). Our roles position us on the social grid and allow us to function in society. We speculate that working and communicating with an awareness of a shared human condition, and an acceptance of the messiness of the social–environmental policy context, enables us to consciously choose our roles as a means of facilitating effective communication and providing policy-relevant science.
Keywords: Channels of communication; Social-environmental policy; SPICOSA.
Source: R.E. Brennan and B. Valcic (2012); “Shifting perspectives – How the masks we wear can facilitate and inhibit channels of communication in the social–environmental policy context”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 62, June 2012, Pages 1-8; Available online: 20 February 2012, under DOI:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.02.004.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is an established management process at the international level striving for the sustainable use of coastal areas. Global experiences have produced evaluation frameworks based on accepted guidelines for good practice to measure progress of ICZM initiatives. To date, no evaluation framework has been established, widely tested, and validated as a preferred ICZM assessment tool ( [Gallagher, 2010] and [Pickaver et al., 2004]). Implementing ICZM in Egypt represents a unique challenge as authoritarian regimes, prima facie, undermine principles inherent in achieving governance approaches to ICZM. A brief investigation of the available ICZM evaluation frameworks in the academic literature results in the choice of Billé’s (2007) approach to ICZM evaluation. Billé’s (2007) proposed framework is applied to Egypt to see what lessons can be learned for ICZM implementation under authoritarian regimes. This paper makes suggestions for future success of ICZM in Egypt and calls for increased attention in formulating evaluation frameworks that incorporate analysis on nation-state’s governance processes to better contextualize the failures and successes of ICZM initiatives.
Source: L. Tabet and L. Fanning (2012); “Integrated coastal zone management under authoritarian rule: An evaluation framework of coastal governance in Egypt”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 61, June 2012, Pages 1–9; Available online: 10 February 2012, under: DOI:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.01.006.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is needed for development projects that may have negative impacts on people and environment. A screening procedure plays a crucial role in determining whether an EIA is required for a particular proposal. Misjudging the EIA requirement results in the unnecessary EIA being undertaken and causes mental anguish to the people who are in trouble because carrying out the EIA takes a long time. This article presents a case study of coastal protection by detached breakwaters in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Thailand, where an initial environmental examination found no significant environmental impact and the EIA was deemed unnecessary by coastal communities. After an engineering design of the detached breakwaters had been completed, the people, whose houses and properties were at risk of sinking into the sea, had to wait one more year for the EIA to be completed. The willingness to pay (WTP) of the people affected to bypass the EIA was measured by a single-bounded dichotomous choice approach. Their mental pain caused by waiting for the detached breakwaters was equated to aggregated WTP which was about US$ 724,160. Such a large WTP from the poor coastal dwellers sends an urgent message that the categorical screening in Thailand's EIA legislation may need some adjustments.
Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); Coastal protection; Detached breakwaters; Willingness To Pay (WTP); Nakhon Si Thammarat province.
Source: C. Saengsupavanich (2012); “Unwelcome environmental impact assessment for coastal protection along a 7-km shoreline in Southern Thailand”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 61, June 2012, Pages 20–29; Available online: 17 February 2012, under DOI:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.02.008.